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Climate science started on mountaintops. John Tyndall was a mid-19th-century British scientist and devoted mountaineer who scaled several Continental peaks, making the first recorded trip up Switzerland’s Weisshorn. He sketched out the glaciers he saw there, and how they moved. By 1859, he’d become the first European to demonstrate that carbon dioxide absorbs heat.

Another extraordinary mountain expedition posing big climate science questions occurred last year, to Mount Everest. For two months, 34 scientists (along with sherpas and aides) turned the top of the world into a scientific laboratory. The results were published in 16 papers last week in the journal One Earth.

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